Croatia’s geography lends itself to love. The country is blessed with a scenic coastline along the Adriatic Sea – a stretch of land that is dotted with picturesque rocky islands and scenic beach towns like Dubrovnik and Hvar. Not surprisingly, Croatia has long attracted tourists and couples – during the summer months, it’s the perfect spot for laying on the beach, island-hopping and plenty of outdoor fun.
According to the Daily Mail, Croatia’s coast is also home to another unintentionally romantic destination – a heart-shaped island recently highlighted on Google Maps. Though the island is uninhabited, tourists have recently caught on and have been clamoring for access. The island’s owners, overwhelmed by requests to visit, have renamed the small landmass as “Lover’s Island” to capitalize on the demand. I guess the original name, Galesnjak, didn’t exactly roll off the tongue…
As romantic as it may sound to head off to this remote heart-shaped landmass, take note – the island has no buildings and no access to fresh water. February temperatures are also hovering in the high 30’s. Still for some, access to one of the world’s more remote destinations (and with a theme to boot!) is powerful motivation. I guess when it comes to love, emotion sometimes trumps proper logic.
Don’t expect an expensive gesture this year. Valentine’s Day spending is expected to drop 4.8 percent this year, after suffering to the tune of 6.8 percent a year ago. The good news is that we’re becoming less romantic at a slower rate this year. Nonetheless, don’t plan on a surprise weekend getaway this year.
According research firm IBISWorld, the passionate are only going to commit $28.6 billion to their fellow lovebirds this year. The reason is simple: Valentine’s Day just isn’t Christmas.
According to George Van Horn, a senior analyst at IBISWorld, events like birthdays and Christmas don’t involve a whole lot of choice. You have to commit some cash. “Valentine’s Day is more of a discretionary occasion,” he says, “which means it will be hit particularly hard by the current economic climate.” As we tighten our belts, this non-day off is among the casualties.
IBISWorld believes that couples are going to swap out trips, dinners out and the like for romantic meals at home, walks on the beach or writing a love letter or poem. Yes, this was actually in the press release! I have to admit, a walk on the beach right now, here in New York, would probably be better than a poem.
So, how does 2009 look? Travel is pretty grim. IBISWorld forecasts that close to $3.45 billion will be spent on romantic getaways this year, compared to $3.58 billion last year. It’s a drop of 3.5 percent.